Remaining in United Kingdom after leaving the EU
EU Settlement Scheme:
From 30 March 2019 EU citizens and their families will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK; if UK agrees on a trade agreement with the EU all EU citizens will have until 30 June 2021 to apply under the new scheme. However, the deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020 should the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
When to apply
The scheme is open to some EU citizens and their family members now. It will open fully by 30 March 2019. Those who want to apply now will need to have already applied and received their certificate of registration; if you haven’t previously obtained a certificate of registration you will need to wait until 30 March 2019. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.
Who should apply?
If you’re an EU citizen or a family member of an EU citizen, you’ll usually need to apply if you want to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021. You must also apply if you were born in the UK but are not a British citizen, or you’re married to a British citizen and you’re from the EU. You’ll not be eligible to apply if you’re married to a British citizen and you’re from outside the EU. If you’re an Irish citizen and your family members are from outside the UK or Ireland they will still need to apply.
Who does not need to apply?
Irish citizens - although their family members from outside either the UK or Ireland will still need to apply
You hold indefinite leave to enter the UK
You have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
Those already with ILR or Permanent Residence are entitled to apply but do not need to.
Your rights and status
The rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021.
If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021. You will not be asked to choose which you’re applying for you will be awarded either status dependent on what documentation you present at application.
You can usually obtain settled status if you started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (‘continuous residence’) Five years’ continuous residence means for 5 years in a row you’ve lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month consecutive period, except for one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (E.G, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting) it also includes any EU Nationals on compulsory military service of any length. You’ll only need to apply once if you get settled status.
If you have not yet been in the UK for 5 years’ continuous residence, you’ll usually get ‘pre-settled status’ instead. ‘pre-settled status’ visa will allow you to stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status, but you will have to reapply again to get settled status if you want to stay in the UK indefinitely.